Is Larry David Suffering From Lack of Empathy?

The jokes that Larry David made almost two weeks ago, about a guy hitting on girls in Auschwitz, left uneasy emotions in my heart, feelings of frustration.

I’m trying to justify it, so I can feel a little bit better about this, but it’s not really working. 

I tell myself, “Anat, this is the beautiful thing about comedy. People can make fun of anything.” 

But, at the same time, my heart won’t stop aching. 

As much as I keep telling myself, “Freedom of speech is totally acceptable,” I am hurt, deeply hurt, that some people can see the Holocaust as a joke. 

Some people are just absolutely able to laugh at innocent beings who were severely tortured, based solely on their ethnicities.

This makes me wonder. 

Did Mr. Larry David wake up one day and say, “Jeeze, I don’t have any more jokes left. How about a Holocaust joke?”

Or, perhaps, one of his producers came up to him and said, “Larry, you know, we really need more ratings.  Nothing sounds better than a Jew making fun of himself. A Holocaust joke should do it.”

*wink* *wink*

It may have been none of the above.

Maybe Mr. Larry David lacks empathy. 

So leave Larry David alone. 

You know why?

Because he just might not know what he’s talking about.  

I decided to research a bit about him and I found out from Wikipedia that his parents were born in the U.S.

So Larry David is obviously a Jew, but since he doesn’t have parents or grandparents who have been in the Holocaust, maybe, and it’s just an assumption, he just never felt the pain of the those who were.

He grew up in Brighton Beach,  N.Y.,  which is a heavily Jewish area, but maybe because he didn’t grow up with parents affected by the Holocaust, he doesn’t know the pain of people wanting to kill you because of who you are. 

He never experienced parents suffering from PTSD because of the Holocaust.

I’m sorry to say, but I believe that there is a difference between a Jew who had parents or grandparents in the Holocaust, let alone a Jew who experienced Anti-Semitism, and any Jew who hasn’t.

It’s not to say that anyone who didn’t have family in the Holocaust lacks empathy. 

Some people really do have a natural empathy within them without having any family members affected by the Holocaust at all.

Is it possible that Larry David is just not one of them?

Is it possible that he just doesn’t know what it’s like?

I believe that not everybody has the ability to be sensitive.  I believe that being sensitive is not only psychological but biological.

That being said, I think many people in general, not just Larry David can never imagine the pain of the Holocaust.


Anat Ghelber

About the Author
Anat Ghelber was born in Israel and moved to Texas when she was 13. She experienced anti-Semitism in public schools there. She moved to New York City when she was 20, and is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She started submitting articles to the Jewish Voice two years ago. In her free time enjoys writing poems. She's also a certified Yoga teacher with 200 hours of training who teaches in a donation-based studio called Yoga to the People in New York City.
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